The Costs of Contention: Comprehensively Understanding the Impact of State and/or Challenging Behavior

The Costs of Contention: Comprehensively Understanding the Impact of State and/or Challenging Behavior
Led by Christian Davenport
Aug 2016 - Jun 2022

​​The Costs of Contention project seeks to understand how diverse forms of political conflict and violence (e.g. genocide, civil war, human rights violations) influence diverse political and economic outcomes (e.g., the type of political system, mass participation, economic development, happiness and foreign direct investment).

Like many phenomena, there is a "life cycle" to political conflict and violence: onset (i.e., when it starts), dynamics (i.e., what happens when it is underway: type, severity and duration), when it ends (i.e., termination), when it comes back (i.e., recurrence) and what are its aftereffects (i.e., costs). While some of these topics have been studied a great deal like onset and dynamics, some are less well understood like costs. Toward this end, the Costs of Contention project has focused on understanding the consequences of political conflict and violence (PCV) on individuals and societies. To do this, we study how diverse forms of PCV (e.g. genocide, civil war, human rights violations and terrorism) influence diverse political and economic outcomes (e.g., the type of political system, mass participation, economic development, happiness and foreign direct investment). Previous research relevant to this topic has been limited to studying only specific forms of PCV as well as specific outcomes. In contrast, we have opened up these categories to achieve a comprehensive analysis of all the costs of contention. Additionally, the project has sought to explore not only global patterns but also sub-national and individual level patterns.  The research effort is complex in that it involves using pre-existing data in new ways, as well as collecting and analyzing new data across time and at multiple levels of analysis.  While engaging in this work, the project has been attentive to numerous potential biases: e.g., gender differences in costs of contention, and the existence of missing data. 

To date, the project has focused its efforts on two particular topics. First, we have developed a new latent measure of contention. This time-varying measure captures the overall level of contention a country experiences and allows us to go beyond focusing only on discrete categories such as armed conflict to look at the relative degree of contention (i.e., whether governments or state challengers have engaged in more behavior, severity and the type of contention). Second, we have coded and collected a large set of granular subnational data on the consequences of contention. The information emerging from this research, presented at several workshops and conferences, shows great potential.  Most importantly, project outputs will provide evidence-based early warning of likely challenges for recovery and development efforts in the post-PCV period, for policy-makers, practitioners, and other stakeholders engaged in recovery efforts.  While engaging in this work, the project has been attentive to numerous potential biases: e.g., endogeneity, gender differences in costs of contention, and the existence of missing data.

For more information, please see the project webpage here: https://consequencesofcontention.weebly.com 


Publications

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Fjelde, Hanne; Carl Henrik Knutsen & Håvard Mokleiv Nygård (2020) Which institutions matter? Re-considering the democratic civil peace, International Studies Quarterly. DOI: 10.1093/isq/sqaa076.
Nygård, Håvard Mokleiv; Christian Davenport; Hanne Fjelde & Dave Armstrong (2019) The Consequences of Contention: Understanding the Aftereffects of Political Conflict and Violence, Annual Review of Political Science 22(1): 1–19.
Østby, Gudrun; Michele Leiby & Ragnhild Nordås (2019) The Legacy of Wartime Violence on Intimate-Partner Abuse: Microlevel Evidence from Peru, 1980–2009, International Studies Quarterly 63(1): 1–46.
Bormann, Nils-Christian; Lars-Erik Cederman; Scott Gates; Benjamin Graham; Simon Hug; Kaare Strøm & Julian Wucherpfennig (2019) Power Sharing: Institutions, Behavior, and Peace, American Journal of Political Science 63(1): 84–100.

Book Chapter

Deglow, Annekatrin & Hanne Fjelde (2021) The Quality of Government and Civil Conflict, in Bågenholm, Andreas; Monika Bauhr; Marcia Grimes; & Bo Rothstein, eds, Oxford University Press Handbook on the Quality of Government. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Popular Article

Arellano, Adrian; Christian Davenport & Håvard Mokleiv Nygård (2020) Ender protestene med bare nok en rapport? [Will the US protests simply end in another report?], Aftenposten, 11 June.
Nygård, Håvard Mokleiv; Sirianne Dahlum; Gudrun Østby & Siri Aas Rustad (2019) Slik fanges mange land i en «ulikhetsfelle» [This is how many countries fall into an inequality trap], Dagens Næringsliv, 19 December.
Dyvesether, Natalie M. (2019) What Does Gender Equality Have to Do with Poverty and War? Everything., PRIO Blogs, 4 November.
Davenport, Christian & Håvard Mokleiv Nygård (2019) I fought therefore I am – private, club, and public consequences of contention, The Consequences - a Blog, 16 July.

Master Thesis

Dyvesether, Natalie M. (2019) The Effects of Internal Armed Conflict on Women’s Labour Rights. MA thesis, Department of Political Science, University of Oslo, Oslo.

Conference Paper

Deglow, Annekatrin & Hanne Fjelde (2019) Democracy in the Shadow of Civil War: Insurgents, Elections and Public Attitudes towards Democracy in India, presented at the Annual meeting of the Network of European Peace Scientists, The Hague, 24–26 June 2019.
Cil, Deniz; Hanne Fjelde; Lisa Hultman; Nils Metternich & Desirée Nilsson (2019) Spreading the light or left in the dark? UN peacekeeping and its economic effects, presented at the Conflict Research Society Annual Conference, Sussex, 8–10 September 2019.
Boese, Vanessa Alexandra & Scott Gates (2019) Why Does Political Instability Generate Violence?, presented at the International Studies Association Annual Convention, Toronto, Canada, 27–30 March 2019.
Boese, Vanessa Alexandra; Scott Gates; Carl Henrik Knutsen & Håvard Strand (2019) Patterns of authority over space and time, presented at the European Political Science Association Annual Conference, Belfast, United Kingdom, 20–22 June 2019.
Strand, Håvard; Natalie M. Dyvesether; Scott Gates & Håvard Mokleiv Nygård (2019) The Effect of Armed Conflict on Sustainable Development Goals, presented at the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Washington DC, USA, 29 August – 1 September 2019.

Report - External Series

Nygård, Håvard Mokleiv; Sirianne Dahlum; Gudrun Østby; & Siri Aas Rustad (2019) The Conflict–Inequality Trap: How Internal Armed Conflict Affects Horizontal Inequality, UNDP Human Development Report Background Paper, 2. New York: UNDP.

Projects

Related pages